Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shout out: Cool!

My friends Emily and John entered their video in a contest:

Go check it out, and if you dig it, repost to your FB, Twitter, etc and help them win!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Aim for the stars...

Often I have the overwhelming desire to be better. "Better at what?" you might ask. Everything. An excellent chef, a kinder person, a tidier house, a more generous philanthropist, a brilliant writer, a fiddle player, a care-free attitude, a kick-ass rock climber, and damn smart. And instead of doing these things I end up making lists of what I need to do this week, because I can check those things off, and they take less time than becoming an expert at, really, anything. Lately I've begun to realize I'm on a time crunch since I am about a third of my way through life if I happen to have a long life, and about three thirds through if I die tomorrow. So this begs the question, what am I doing with my time, and what are the things that I will choose to excel at in the time that I have here in this world?

Material possessions are ephemeral and yet I am constantly spending (read wasting) time and money cleaning, organizing, and/or moving them. I have this sense that if I could move to the middle of nowhere, build an organic farm, and live off the land I would also become a delightful, relaxed sage who is excellent at cooking gourmet meals for the poor in my spotless yurt while playing the fiddle, discovering the cure for cancer, and conquering El Capitan. And what is to stop me from doing this very thing? Money, or the fear of poverty. I'm not sure which. Probably both. I have to be able to afford to be poor. Silly, I know, but who would pay the property taxes on the aforementioned organic farm? And who would pay the farmers, because you know I don't like weeding all that much and I'll be busy on my Pulitzer prize-winning book tour.

I'm suddenly reminded of that scene in Office Space:
Peter is asked what he would do if he had a million dollars. His response is: I would relax, I would sit on my ass all day, I would do nothing. To which Lawrence replies: Well you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Just take a look at my cousin. He's broke, don't do s**t.

Sometimes I wish I had the guts to risk being broke. Turns out I need to be better at liking poverty too. I'll add that one to the list. The thing is, one of the reasons I am so married to my job is my health insurance (don't worry, I'm not educated enough on the issues to use this blog as a political platform). It just feels like something I absolutely need unless I am independently wealthy. I also live pretty comfortably right now. I don't have to worry about having enough to eat (and I don't have to eat Top Ramen), and I can afford to travel. I like that. On the other hand I also know I have more than I really need.

My need for insurance is the same as my need for assurances in life. I'm not a fly by the seat of your pants kind of girl. My g-calendar is booked through the end of September and I'm already planning out a vacation next June. I'm married to structure and order. It's a strength and a weakness. Well planned things usually go off well. My organic farm would run like clockwork. I just need someone to fund the purchase, or tell me its okay to move to Texas or Michigan where I could actually afford property. Also if we could move the Pacific Ocean, my friends, and my family there as well, that'd be greeeeat. So anyone want to go halvsies on a commune in Oregon? I'm serious.

Okay, back to work for me. I gots bills to pay...

P.S. I think its funny that spell check suggested pelvises for "halvsies".

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This is one of those cop out posts where I have been sick and unable to cook anything delicious or make anything cool so I leave you with something amusing to look at and hope you don't stop loving me.

Click on "Portfolio". Freakin cool photographer. Enjoy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Can you feel it?

Fall is beginning to settle in in the Pacific Northwest. It's a little early for fall but I can feel it. The leaves on our trees have reached maximum capacity and the blooms have come and gone. We may still have a few more sunny days to come, but I am looking forward to fall. It's the time of year when I seem to be most productive creatively. The days get shorter and as a result I hole up in the art room and spend the darker afternoon hours working on projects I thought up during the summer, or flipping through my binder of recipes to try. Our porch garden has officially been a success. I have bags of shredded zucchini in the freezer to make zucchini bread (or zucchini brownies!) when it gets cooler, and I'm getting ready to pull the rest of the carrots for carrot soup. The tomatoes have been bountiful (the Early Girls have been the best so far), and the cucumbers are finally getting big. It also happens to be the peak season for blackberries at Love Dog Ranch. Justin and I picked about 10 quarts which currently reside in our freezer (we're going to need a bigger freezer). I'm looking forward to making blackberry pies and blackberry liqueur, and I'm working on perfecting a blackberry scone recipe, which should be interesting since I know little to nothing about baking. Deliciousness forthcoming!

Just over 12 inches. I don't think you're supposed to let them get that big, but we were on vacation.

Jasper's favorite vegetable.

An Early Girl.

Our bountiful blackberries. This was only one of many bowls. Yum.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tent trailer: Phase 1

Hello, hello, we're back at the ranch! We had a great adventure in the tent trailer, drove many miles, saw lots of friends, visited with the family, and took lots of pictures along the way. Speaking of pictures, as promised (oh so long ago), the photos of the tent trailer... I'm calling this Phase 1, instead of "After" since we've come up with a few more fix-its along the way.
In the before picture you can see a wooden storage box which we ripped out, and then extended the step to make more space. There were some holes on the wood surface so we had to fill them in, then primed and painted over the top. I plan to paint texture onto the dark brown surfaces so its not as glossy, and masks some of the surface blemishes. I took down all the fringe/skirt along the top of the tent trailer and made a new one. I also made new curtain ties and cushion covers.
Another view of the dining area:

The kitchen area was one of the more dramatic changes. As soon as we got the tent trailer I immediately removed all the doors, since it seemed impractical to have swinging doors in such a tight space. We added a new counter surface that could bear weight and that was easier to clean. I painted the rest of the surfaces and made curtains for the cupboard areas.
We swapped out the plastic drawer pulls with nickel and added a dish towel rack. We cleaned up the rust on the stove and repainted it with high temp paint (not pictured).

View of the other "bedroom". We added a new mattress pad from Ikea to make the bed a little softer and to cover some damage on the existing mattress.
Most of the materials for this project we either had already, or found for super cheap at Ikea. We still plan to add wood flooring (left over from another project--thanks Erin!) in place of the linoleum, but that might not be for a while with this heat wave we've been having. We also may replace the counter surface around the sink with some leftover material my dad offered up. Hooray for free stuff! I'll post a final picture when we finish the rest.
Project total to date: $65.oo
mattress pad: $5
fabric for fringe & seats: $5
velcro: $4
counter: $1
towel rail: $2
drawer pulls: $0
rug: $10
pillow: $15
sandpaper $0
white spray primer (2 cans) $7
white paint $0
white caulk $4
high temp paint $5
masking tape $3
drop cloth $0
roller brush $4
paint brush $0
espresso spray paint $0